Two late goals from the Netherlands sealed an all-important win in their World Cup opener against African giant Senegal in Group A. It was Senegal’s first loss in the opening game in the World Cup in their history.
Netherland Beat Senegal in the opening Game of the World Cup
Manchester United target Cody Gakpo beat Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to the ball when it was chipped in by Frenkie de Jong to nod the Dutch in front with six minutes remaining. Gakpo whirled away in celebration in front of the Senegal fans behind the goal as the Dutch supporters, together in a sea of orange at the other end of the Al Thumama Stadium, rose to their feet.
They were already chanting their team’s name as they knew victory was near before Klaassen made sure in the ninth and final minute of injury time. The second goal came through substitute Davy Klaassen who pounced on a rebound from Memphis Depay’s shot to add a second deep into stoppage time to confirm the success.
Senegal, who had threatened throughout the match, came close to equalising before that when Papa Gueye fired a finish towards the bottom left corner, but Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert got his fingertips to it.
The Netherlands now sit joint-top in the group with Ecuador who won their first game on the opening day 2-0. Senegal, without injured key forward Sadio Mane during the competition, looked like a side missing their main attacking threat but can take confidence from the number of times they troubled the Dutch defence.